Sunday, December 20, 2009

An Open Letter to the State of Tennessee

Hello friends and fellow taxpayers. While most of you are out battling the crowds and the typical hustle and bustle of the holiday season, there are some of us fighting a different kind of battle. This holiday season there are many of us among you who are struggling to ensure our medically-fragile children can continue to get the medicines, equipment, and help they need. Due to a recent federal court ruling, TennCare is kicking out thousands of medically-fragile and disabled children across the state simply because their parents are middle class, regardless of the child’s level of need. What does this mean? This means there will soon be hundreds of hard-working, good people who will lose everything in order to keep their children healthy.

Why should this matter to you? It could be you. None of us planned on having sick children. We had plans of our children being doctors and football stars just like you. We love our children no matter what, though, and will do whatever we have to in order to give them the best outcomes they can possibly have. We will lose our homes; we will file medical bankruptcy. Our children may not be perfect by society’s standards, but they are worth loving, and they are worth saving.

I think what bothers me the most about this whole situation is the complete disregard shown to us as middle class families, and to our disabled children. I have written emails to Diane Black, Debra Maggart, Michael McDonald, and Bart Gordon, and have spoken to someone in each of their offices either via phone or in person. Bart Gordon did have his liaison from TennCare contact us to go over options; however, I have not received any reply or acknowledgement from any other office. I have also contacted Governor Bredeson’s office and have received no reply from him, either.

Really? Are our children that unimportant? Are sick children’s medical needs so far down the list they don’t even warrant a response?

We’re not looking for handouts, nor are we looking for sympathy. We’re looking for equality. With the new TennCare rules, children of lower-income families or of non-legal residents will continue to qualify for the care that our children will be losing. The reasoning must be that if we have enough money to support TennCare and pay our taxes, then our children must not be that sick.

So, as our children fight to live and to thrive, we will fight to ensure they can continue to do so. Our children have not made it this far for us to give up on them now.

And we will not give up.

Our disabled children have taught us what is important in life, and they have taught us what is worth fighting for. Unfortunately, we are also being taught how broken our system is, and how apathetic our government officials can be to the plights of the working families who elect them.

So we are asking for you, as our friends and neighbors, to help. Please help us spread the word to our officials that our children matter, and that middle class families matter. Please help us prevent our children from falling through the cracks. You can help us make a difference, and you can literally help save a life. Our children are worth it!


Mollie Sheppard


Leanne said...

Your blog posts need a "like" button. Aside from writing letters and such, how can those of us following you make your voice so loud that they have to listen. Any ideas??

SpeasHill said...


Tiff-E said...

You go girl!